Dutch Para badminton player Megan Hollander hasn’t had a great start to the year – falling in the quarterfinals in Brazil and Peru – and acknowledges the magnitude of the challenges that lie ahead.
“Preparation for it is very hard,” Hollander says, on the run-up to the Tokyo Paralympics. “I train almost 10 times a week. As long as you do your best and you train as hard as you can, I think you should be fine.”
The Standing Upper (SU5) player accepts that her Asian peers will be the ones to watch out for.
“I think playing in Asia is very good and the level is very high up there. It’s very difficult to compete with them because they train much more than Europeans, but if you do your best, eventually you will be good enough to compete with the Asians.
“My chances will be good, but it will be a tough road, and it’s going to be hard.”
Particularly significant for Hollander is that qualifying to Tokyo would be fulfilment of a deep personal commitment.
“I feel great about going to the Paralympics. It’s hard and it will be a long way, but I hope I will qualify. Participating in the Paralympics means a lot, it’s a journey I started with my mom, and I lost my mom four months ago, so it’s really good that I can finish it on my own now. So I really hope I get there.”
** First published by Badminton Europe